TRAFFIC concerns were raised when plans were approved for a new Chester primary school.
The scheme was put forward by Cheshire County Council at Thomas Wedge Church of England Junior School on Church Road in Saughall where a new 10 classroom primary school with 310 pupils is to be created, replacing both the junior school and The Ridings infant school in the village.
Saughall parish and city councillor Andrew Storrar (Con) told a County Hall meeting he was representing the village and the parish council.
Cllr Storrar stressed he was “fully in support of the new school” and added: “The future of our rural villages is in the hands of our children and we must provide the best possible education.”
He felt, however, there were some concerns about traffic.
Cllr Storrar believed there would be access issues to the new school and said there were already problems with traffic congestion in Saughall.
“The whole village came to a standstill when a sports day and a funeral were taking place at the same time,” he pointed out.
The school would have twice as many children and there were concerns about increased traffic and highway safety and insufficient parking.
“Safety is your concern,” he told county councillors, suggesting that an access from Lodge Lane could be used which would avoid the dangers of parking on Church Road.
County Cllr Brian Jones (Lab, Groves & Whitby) argued that most councillors received concerns about parking outside schools and believed there was an opportunity to get rid of the problem if a turn in was provided.
The meeting heard there was no requirement to provide parking for parents and the guidance sought to restrict car access at primary schools. This was also the approach of safer routes to school officers.
There were safety issues around mixing parents, children and cars in close proximity and the provision of a drop off would also “seriously compromise” the school travel plan.
A single access from Church Road was thought to be the “optimum solution”.
The use of Lodge Lane would raise highway safety issues.
The approval is subject to the plans not being called in by local government secretary Hazel Blears.